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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, this is the first time I've scaped my tank. It's been planted now for about 2 wks, I've added the background, and am watching the foreground grow in :)

I'm still getting quite a bit of algae on the glass and on the wood, and it's ironically pearling on the wood lol - it's not the bad kind of algae though, and is food for the plecos so I'm ok w/ it for the moment.

The l.aromatica is growing in VERY quickly; 2-3 inches in a week, but is not growing in very red. I've been told to reduce nitrates to remedy this. The ferns and the tonina look like crap and I don't know what I'm doing wrong with them.

Specs:
Catalina light; 4x39w; 3 bulbs 6700k, 1 bulb 10000k.

Photoperiod is 4 hours w/ 2 bulbs, 4 hours with all 4 bulbs, then 3 hours with 2 bulbs

Dosing flourish excel and co2 at 2 bps through a diy reactor I built

Filtration is an eheim 2026

Substrate is eco complete.

The ugly heater at the bck is temporary until I get one to go inline. I'll also be adding an inline uv sterilizer 9w turbo twist shortly.

Any feedback on the scape would be VERY MUCH appreciated!



 

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I'm new to this, so take my opinion for what its worth - which isn't much.

First of all, I like what you have and think you could leave it the way it is and it would look great.

If I were to do something different, I'd move the pant in the rear/middle to the sides. Something tells me that it would look better if the center of the tank were more "open."

For what its worth....?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I was dosing EI, but have cut back on the dosing b/c I'm reading online and finding that higher nitrates = less red on the plants. I am going to try to reduce macros for a while and dose micros for now...To be honest, that's what I'm not sure about at the moment...

I'm definitely looking for advice.

As for middle, I agree -- the red cabomba just needs to grow a bit; it was VERY weak when I first put it in the tank; it had been neglected in my other tank and didn't get the nutrients or light that it needed. Once it gets a bit stronger, I'll move it over.

I'm considering doing a moss carpet up the middle, or maybe even just replacing the middle with some sand to give it the 'riverbed' type appearance. I'm sure there are some people here who'll have awesome thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for the positive feedback!!

As for the red cabomba...should I move it to the left, or the right? Any suggestions on how to fert this thing to best get the reds to show?

Also, why is the tonina doing so poorly and why are the java ferns turning black? Any ideas?
 

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I think the aquarium needs more height.

There just seems to be too much open space up top. Be it plant or hardscape, I think you'd get a better look with a little more up top.
 

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The foreground looks like it is filling in nicely. When your stem stands thicken up you will have a pretty nice looking tank. Do you know how to trim stems to make them branch and thicken the planting? btw Working with the stems will give you some of the higher (taller) plant growth that Momotaro was talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been told that the trimming should be done lower down on the stem to get it to split into 2 stems. I know it works for L Aromatica, but I don't know if it will work with Rotala Macranda or cabomba...

Yeah, I hope to get some height from the stems; but I don't know how to really do it with hardscape like I've seen in some of the better designs.
 

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Start out by replanting the tops in among the stumps that are left from the trim. Then start a progressive trim where the first time you trim is three or four inches above the substrate. The next trim is done two inches higher and the next two inches higher. The stems will branch at each level multiplying the effective number of stems you have. Rotala's and Cabomba's seem to take this trimming technique just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Start out by replanting the tops in among the stumps that are left from the trim. Then start a progressive trim where the first time you trim is three or four inches above the substrate. The next trim is done two inches higher and the next two inches higher. The stems will branch at each level multiplying the effective number of stems you have. Rotala's and Cabomba's seem to take this trimming technique just fine.
Thanks Sean! I will try this when I go to trim the plants. They are growing incredibly fast so it shouldn't take too long I don't think before I have to actually do a trim. So to be clear, the first time I do the pruning, I'll be cutting fairly low on the stems, and each subsequent cut will be a couple of inches higher on the stems...

As for ferts, maybe some of the experts here can tell me:

For java ferns to be happy I understand that I need to have good nitrate levels in the water, while to get plants to turn red, nitrates are the enemy. What is the happy balance between the two to keep plants red?

Sorry for all the questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also, one more quick question - I'm finding that the new growth is showing a longer distance between leaves on the stems -- hard to explain but it's like the plants are reaching. I don't want to up the light anymore because I'm already getting some green algae so I'm not sure what I can really do...should I reduce the photoperiod but increase the period with higher light?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LOL~!!

I am going to post some updated photos soon; the plants are growing VERY fast but still a little leggy. I'm keeping the tank fairly understocked, at least to give it a chance to all settle down. After about 2-3 months, I'll change things up a bit, but for now, I'm just going to leave it alone, and tweak the fert schedule a bit...

The only thing I think I may change is to add a few jobes plant sticks under the hairgrass to get it to really take off. Aside from that...it's looking pretty decent! :D
 
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